March 03, 2012

Thoughts on Humility

Last night, our youngest son spoke to a group of college students on the topic of humility. I was so proud of him - in a humble sort of way! This past week, I was privileged to be taught by both of our sons and found it to be a bit of “mother heaven,” watching who they had become and learning from them. They each taught with clarity, accuracy, conviction and approachability. And each of their messages had the common theme of trusting God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves – the message of redemption from self – the essence of the Gospel.

As I continue to grow in my understanding of who God is, and my appreciation for what He has done for me, I am painfully aware of my pride. That “excessively high view of myself” readily reveals my lack of humility. Or as another student stated, I am “living outside reality.” I want to live inside reality, according to what God says is true.

Most of society lives “outside of reality” and exalts the proud, the assertive, the strong-willed. It calls them leaders. However, according to the Scriptures, God opposes the proud. Conversely, He exalts the humble. He honors them. He dwells with them. He gives them grace. The Scriptures teach that pride defiles and brings men low; it brings contention and eventual destruction.

I desire to live in opposition to the world’s ways, rather than in opposition to God. I want to align my thoughts, words and actions with God’s ways and grow in humility. This is what I think a humble woman looks like:

A humble woman believes that God exists; and she seeks Him out, because she is acutely aware of her need.
A humble woman can learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime. She asks questions and listens because she knows she doesn’t have all the answers.
A humble woman asks for counsel in making decisions, because she knows older, wiser friends can protect her. She seeks wisdom, because she knows her heart is naturally foolish.
A humble woman is very careful when giving counsel, because she knows that being ready to receive the message is almost as important as the message itself.
A humble woman is polite, because she knows the feelings of others are, at times, very fragile.
A humble woman seeks to serve rather than be served, because her identity is that of a servant. She cares for others, even at her own expense, because she knows they matter at least as much as she does.
A humble woman is confident, because she knows who she is and who she isn’t. She is content in that knowledge.
A humble woman rejoices in the successes of others, because she is not in competition with them.
A humble woman defers to others, because she knows that getting her own way comes at a price.
A humble woman is patient with herself and others, because she knows that significant growth is a very slow process.

**Thank you to both my sons for timely words of wisdom and challenge. You have truly ministered to your mother.